In the end I find that the Blackbird TKL backlit mechanical keyboard is impressive to say the least. Offering a multitude of options and features on a keyboard that does not require anything as far as drivers or software is concerned. You may be losing Macro programmability, but the features they were able to pack in like the WASD and arrow key lighting mode, the four steps of LED lighting across the entire keyboard, and they even use the keyboard LED lighting to aide users to know which mode they are in, if they activated the breathing mode, what stage of brightness they are in, and even how long the timer is as every light that illuminates is for ten minutes, make up for that loss. On top of that there is the option to use 6KRO for those that type slower and don't need to mash a ton of keys to send a command in an MMORPG. For those that can type like the wind, there is the full NKRO support as well that will register every key you hit without question.
On the basic level, with the 50 gram Cherry MX blue switches, it is a very familiar feeling to me with the excess activation pressure along with the very audible click with every stroke. The lighting is bright if needed, but the ability to settle down the lights a bit when the room is pitch black does save on eyestrain as well because I find at its brightest when the room is completely dark, the lighting almost flashes as your eyes catch it in their periphery. The side panel lighting is cool, and sort of gives it a Tron-like feel to the design, but it is very attractive to see all lit up on the desktop.
All in all it was a real pleasure using the Blackbird TKL the past couple of weeks during the switch break-in, and the additional wrist pad offers both comfort and a more ergonomic approach to the key caps. Speaking of the keycaps, the fact that they are double-shot, and the legends are part of the caps, they will not wear away in the 50 million keystroke lifespan of the switches under each of them.
Being a very portable solution to pack away in almost any bag you are going to carry is a huge plus for the Blackbird TKL. Offering things like a timer, full NKRO over USB, various lighting modes, along with being able to customize it all and save it into the G-Key lighting profile, for a driver-less solution, it truly is feature rich. While the $149.99 base price is a bit of a sticker shock at first, take into account that there is superb build quality, and there are more controllers packed inside of this design than many others on the market.
With technology come costs, and the fact that this keyboard offers everything shy of Macro programming, without software to do it is really saying something since most others need it just to run the basic features. I think MAX Keyboard really takes things a step forward, and while not the most cost effective offering on mechanical keyboards, for those who can afford this and can see past the pricing, you will surely be impressed and in no way can be disappointed in the Blackbird TKL backlit mechanical keyboard from MAX Keyboard.
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